With the recent passing of Ram Dass, I am even more aware of something I read in his most recent book, “Walking Each Other Home”. A practice he took on and used every day touched me when I read the book, and I have taken it up as a regular practice of mine. I would like to share it with you. At the moment, I can’t remember if he used this mantra in conjunction with his breathing, but he constantly repeated the words “I am loving awareness.” I mentally say it to myself on the out-breath.
What touches me powerfully about this statement is how it automatically orients me to my heart awareness, which is something that our world desperately needs at this time. I’ve mentioned many times that we affect our environment all the time, whether we intend to or not. As you move through your daily activities, where you place your attention impacts both your internal quality of life and the quality of our collective human consciousness. You cannot not radiate into our human collective the quality of your inner life.Read More “773rd Week: “I Am Loving Awareness” – Ram Dass”
Sitting in Central Park the other day, a whole crew of volunteers worked on the hill in front of me. They worked with wheelbarrows, rakes, and shovels, spreading a new layer of soil on the hill. As I watched them work together, my deepest response was one of gratitude that so many people showed up early on a weekday morning to offer their services to the park. Read More “Week 636: Supporting Cooperation and Collaboration”
One of the things the Internet has given us is more access to connecting and communicating with one another. This is all to the good when the communication promotes the well-being of everyone. It becomes a problem when it allows people to feed their fears. We see this phenomenon around the world in those groups that seek to oppress or eliminate other groups of people who may be different from them or in some way represent a threat.
As a trauma specialist, this got me to thinking about how important it is to be conscious of our fears and to cultivate ways to become even more conscious of, meet, and process this powerful emotion. So much of what creates division and conflict among human beings—be they in a one-on-one relationship, a family, a community, a country—is the presence of underlying, and often unrecognized or disowned, fear.
For this week’s practice, I’d like to offer a practice that can be helpful in recognizing and dealing with the presence of fear. Fear isn’t an emotion we can eliminate because it’s an important survival response that we need throughout life. It’s essential that fear can motivate us to jump out of the way of a bus we hadn’t seen, or remind us not to walk down a dark alley alone in the middle of the night. The problem is that we are often afraid of things that aren’t threatening and, when we act on these kinds of fears, we often generate even more trauma in ourselves and others.Read More “747th Week: The Power of Fear”
I am, without question, a creature of habit. There is a place in Central Park where I sit on weekend mornings and do a lot of the writing that shows up here as weekly practices. Because I’m pretty much a regular during seasons that encourage being outdoors, I have come to know others who are also regulars on weekend mornings. One man who works at the restaurant in the park comes by each weekend morning and we have a bit of a chat. One morning, because it rained the day before, he mentioned that he missed seeing me on his way to work… Read More “703rd Week: Supporting A Sense of Connection”